Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bette Davis in "The Letter"

Bette Davis received her fourth Oscar nomination for playing Leslie Crosbie in The Letter.

The Letter has always been a very simple story, yet is always electrified by it's leading ladies. This version is stunning - the black and white cinematography combined with the overall sinister atmosphere that lingers over the film is magnificent. The story of a wife of a rubber plantation owner in Singapore who shoots a popular British man one night and claims she did it in self-defense. The film can definitely drag down as the film progresses, but at the end, it is a totally satisfying experience.

Bette Davis plays the woman, Leslie Crosbie - a determined, sensual, and fierce wife. Leslie can manipulate anyone around her with her beautiful intense looks. Bette Davis and her eyes do wonders immediately in The Letter - as soon as that opening scene comes on, the audience is fascinated already. There is alot of mystery surrounding the character and Davis really holds that mystery for the majority of the story. Only when her character has to confess and finally let all of her secrets out, do we finally get a real idea of who this Leslie really is.

There is alot of over the top moments that Davis has, but in many ways it suits the story and film perfectly. A genius at this kind of acting, Bette Davis could easily nail this - it's a little off putting, but the character herself is so vamped and off the wall that all of that shaking and loud monologues, it all becomes incredibly fitting and even subtle. Overall it's another fantastic performance from Bette Davis, full of passion and vitality.

1 comment:

dinasztie said...

For me, this is Bette's worst performance. I don't even know why I hated it so much.